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|IR543 X10 Infrared Controller - Mini-Review|
|Written by Peter|
UPDATED: The introduction of the IRLinc has changed the interactions of Infrared to Insteon communications a bit, and reduced the importance of the IR543. While the IR543 is still a valid low-cost option, the flexibility and convenience of the IRLinc (no programming X10 codes for your Insteon devices, additional dim levels, direct to dim percentage) are far superior for those looking for an Insteon infrared solution.
Which came first, the infrared remote or the X-10 devices? Well, it doesn’t really matter, because either way you now need them to talk to each other. While there are a few options that you can buy, none are as inexpensive and readily available as the X10 IR-543. The simple receiver takes an infrared command, sent by any device capable of sending the correct sequence (universal remotes, Harmony remotes, laptops, PDA’s, Media Centers and PVR’s, just to name a few) and translates this command into a signal which is sent via the powerline to control an X-10 device.
Setup is simple, and requires nothing more than plugging the IR543 into the wall and ensuring that the placement within your room is visible from where the signal is being sent (as Infrared is line of sight). Advanced configurations may require using a small screwdriver or knife-tip to select the appropriate housecode (Default selection is housecode ‘A’) however this is only for the buttons on the top of the unit, as infrared commands sent can be preceeded with the housecode (for example, a typical infrared command sequence would be:
The Logitech Harmony remotes (we review the Harmony 880 here) come with the IR543 available as an option under “lighting controllers” so the addition to your activities is seamless and quite simple. Insteon devices (we review Insteon here) can also be controlled by the IR543 by setting an X-10 unit code for the Insteon device (the Insteon instructions that come with the device explain how to do this.)
The IR543 comes in both black and white colors to match the room placement, and is the single most cost-effective way to control your X-10 and Insteon devices from an infrared controller.